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Budgeting

Online Tools to Help You Simplify Your Finances

Here's help using the tactics we presented in our June cover story, "Simplify Your Life."


Simple Portfolios

As miserably as Standard and Poor's 500-stock index has performed recently, it still has beaten two-thirds of big-company U.S.-stock funds over the past five years. And that, in a nutshell, is why simple portfolios of index mutual funds still make sound financial sense for many investors: They're a dependable way to get better-than-average returns. See 3 Winning Portfolios.

Guidance on Sizing Up Annuities

Get an overview of annuities from this Kiplinger video.

We look at four investments that promise to protect your money or pay up. Some are better than others at keeping their promises. See these Savings Guarantees.

See how much monthly income your lump sum will buy, and shop for immediate annuites.

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Budgeting Tips

Use our household budget worksheet to compare monthly spending projections with actual expenditures.

Mint.com gathers information from you accounts and tracks your cash flow, credit cards, loans and even investments.

If you want to interact with other users, try Wesabe.com or Geezeo.com.

You Need a Budget software encourages you to live on last month's income, not paycheck to paycheck, plus follow other budgeting rules.

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Home Time Savers

Save time and money on your yard.

Read about smart ways to spend your landscaping dollars.

Hiring a Pro

How to find a pro near you who can lighten your workload.

Financial Adviser: National Association of Personal Finance Advisors, (847-483-5400)

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Tax Preparer: Find an H&R Block preparer (800-472-5625) or a CPA.

Travel Agent: American Society of Travel Agents

Medical Bills: Manager Alliance of Claims Assistant Professionals, (888-394-5163)

Elderly Caregiver: Home Instead Senior Care, (888-484-5759)

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Independent Insurance Agent: Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America,(800-221-7917)

College Admissions Consultant: Independent Educational Consultants Association, (703-591-4850)

Professional Organizer: National Association of Professional Organizers, (856-380-6828)

Use Our Tools

Get Up to Speed on the Basics

You'll find simple-to-digest information on taxes, investing, saving and more.